Masters draws record entries

ROCKHAMPTON'S Fitzroy River is preparing for a record number of crews ready to hit the water at next week's 2005 Castaway Seaspray Australian Masters Championships.

The national event has attracted an unprecedented number of entries, with 916 crews racing in 245 races when action starts next Friday.

There will be 49 clubs from throughout Australia, including an international invasion from Hong Kong. The three-day regatta is expected to attract about 3000 competitors and spectators.

"The interest in masters rowing has grown to the point where regattas in regional centres can attract massive numbers of competitors,'' Rowing Queensland CEO Greg Howell said.

Rob Lang, chairman of the organising committee, said Rockhampton was an excellent venue with a world-class course.

"Everyone is working to make this regatta a success,'' Lang said.

A highlight of racing will be the Castaway Seaspray inter-state competition in which the best of masters rowers, including former Olympic, national and state champions, go head to head.

One of the largest regattas ever held in regional Queensland, next week's event will also host the Orrcon champion of champion scull race, which pitsthe age-group champions against each other.



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